1000 actions in League Winning Machine


The most difficult period of the league campaign came in February.  We came from behind to secure a draw at Aberdeen.  That was followed by a bizarre game at Easter Road.  An early Adam Idah penalty put Celtic in control before we conceded an equaliser on the hour and were then shredded by Hibernian until a second Idah penalty kick in added time secured the win.

Next league game was home to Kilmarnock, when the visitors left with a point after a 92nd minute equaliser.  For me, that was the darkest moment.  The seven-point cushion we had built up earlier in the season was gone, replaced by what would be a two-point deficit when Newco played their game in hand.

You want to believe Celtic will win the league, but I left Celtic Park that day with a feeling of dread.  This was not ‘the 10’, defined by history, but it was a league title which would have significant impact on the future, and our trajectory was dreadful. I prepared myself for what felt like the inevitable.

That was 14 games ago.  A defeat at Tynecastle under controversial circumstances, a penalty kick progression in the Scottish Cup semi-final, and a drew at Ibrox were the only blemishes on an impeccable record since.

If Kilmarnock at home was the nadir, the draw at Ibrox was the pivotal determinant in the outcome of the title.  Newco went into the game with the hopes of winning and moving five points ahead.

Celtic dominated the first half but were ahead courtesy of two bizarre goals.  Daizen Maeda blocked a clearance 25 yards from goal which whizzed in the net, then Connor Goldson conceded a penalty for hitting the ball with his arm – bizarre, as Connor is never penalised for that!

We were ahead, but not through methods which we could replicate.  10 minutes into the second half Newco briefly thought they had drawn level, before VAR intervened for a foul on Tomoki Iwata 70 yards from goal.  Celtic were rattled and had that goal stood, the outcome of the season may have been different.  VAR, for all its problems, is necessary for these moments.

Celtic left Ibrox with the draw they needed to keep the title in their own hands.  Newco celebrated a late equaliser as though it was a winner, seemingly not understanding their best chance to take the title had just slipped through their fingers.

The remainder of our league campaign was more comfortable than you are likely to remember.  Dundee gave us a challenging 15 minutes.  Newco did the same for a similar period, but neither was able to test Joe Hart, never mind beat him during these periods, as Celtic defended a narrow lead.  Those games aside, we scored 11 goals without conceding before the title was secured at Rugby Park on Wednesday.

Looking back, this title was closer than it could or should have been.  Newco were so poor at one stage, they sacked their manager, yet we were drawn back into a battle after it appeared to be won.

There was a really telling point about where we are as a club after fulltime on Saturday.  Historically, the presentation stage was setup facing the South Stand.  This time, we had two stages and a second trophy lift for those in the North Stand.

When you win so often, you get to fine-tune everything about the process.  You know what winning looks like, you prepare for it confidently and you look for marginal improvements.  Celtic is a league winning machine, from going to Ibrox and getting the result, to giving all fans a chance to see the trophy being lifted and a thousand actions in between.

That is why we are champions today; that is what the challengers are up against.  They spent more on player wages than us to compensate for the deficit in professionalism in all areas.  Their plans for the season could have worked out, but it fell short, which will have harsh consequences.  More on that another time.

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  1. Melvin Udall on

    AN TEARMANN on 20TH MAY 2024 4:18 PM




    Brilliant AT!



    That song always reminds me of the Still Game episode where Winston gets married and everyone chips in something to make sure he has a cracking wedding.



    Excellent episode!

  2. DORIS DAY was probably the BEST female singer that I have ever heard and a very good actress.


    in a Film called ” Love me or Leave me” alongside JIMMY CAGNEY…She played his suffering wife, with Jimmy being the Mean, Control Freak of a husband/agent.


    Many have said it was Doris Days finest performance as an actress.



    Jimmy and Doris R.I.P.

  3. We have Brendan to thank for this title. A lesser manager could not have galvanised the team the way he did, making them believe they were capable of great things. I know there are people who are still on the fence with Brendan, but I know we are in safe hands with him at the helm.



    On some of the other topics – Matt Monro – my Dad was a huge fan and so we were brought up listening to him on vinyl. To this day I absolutely love listening to him. It’s hypnotic, and the younger generation probably just don’t understand it. It’s a shame Mrs MN hates this genre and I have to sneak off and listen on my own.



    Well done to the Celtic ladies yesterday. I have tried, but I can’t warm to Womens football. I actually don’t like the way we are being force fed the sport these days in similar quantities to the men’s leagues. Don’t get me wrong, this is a purely a sporting preference. Just like I can’t warm to basketball. Great win for the MN Timberwolves last night, but I didn’t even know the game was on.



    Getting a little excited now about seeing the Bhoys in the US soon. Such a shame Joe Hart will not be here. He’s leaving a huge gap in the team and not just between the sticks.

  4. It’s not often we can say that we can put Manchester City in the shade but the celebrations on Saturday certainly did both in Celtic Park and in the city and proves what an enormous football club Celtic FC is. We had Santa Claus, unemployed at present, fancying a day in the warm sunshine getting the gig to present the trophy and see a really entertaining game as well.



    It aint finished yet, we’re on the road again next weekend with McGregor’s fuselliers hopefully for another party. Matt O’Riley should stay for another season and get another crack at this new Champions Lge setup, success against the big boys of Europe will enhance his reputation further.



    We need to make an impression in Europe and hopefully we can get Adam Idah, if Norwich will let him go, particularly after his huge contribution to this title success. Bernardo can also improve under the watchful eye of Brendan Rodgers. We will also bring in another couple of established senior players.



    It’s fair to say that Rangers did better than the Hoops last season finishing top of their group in Europe, they seem to have the knack.


    Celtic could have gone unbeaten at home except for conceding that last minute winner to Lazio and Palma’s goal being ruled out for marginal offside against the same opposition, if memory serves correctly.

  5. Backing the manager because he deserves it is talk from a bygone era. No serious club operates like that these days, never mind one that has won 12 out of the last 13 domestic league titles.



    Every Celtic manager is backed, every one works to a budget and in a model. Nobody is bigger than the club

  6. Thats not pissing on anyone’s chips ahead of the Summer, its just the reality of being Celtic manager.



    Making decisions based on what we think Brendan deserves isnt sensible, its not the sort of thinking thats got us to where we are

  7. KingLubo



    I think it was you who said earlier that we should keep Odin Holm, Paulo Bernardo and Adam Idah. Totally agree. I think all three of these players will be better next season. We’ve seen Idah and Bernardo on a good few occasions and know that they are capable. Hol we’ve only seen in cameos. Young lad, new country, first season. He is skilful and has a bit of dig in him. Ask Todders over at Ibrox.I think he was out for about 5 weeks after Odin left him in a heap at the end of our 1-0 victory at Ibrox.


    Let’s keep these lads.

  8. Hankray



    I don’t think it’s a fair comparison to hold up Sevco topping their group in the Europa league to us winning 4 points in our Champions League group.



    The CL is much, much more difficult than the EL. When Sevco reached the final of the EL they qualified from the group with 7 points. Celtic gained 9 points but were eliminated. They carry a lot of luck.

  9. Agree Sinatra was not a great singer, but boy, could he put a song across. New York, and best of all, That’s Life, absolutely sensational




  10. If I can add my tuppence to the musical nostalgia , I would nominate Ella Fitzgerald, incredible voice, she did a few duets with another one of my favourites Louis Armstrong, a couple of ones I really loved were the 2 of them singing Summertime & Dancing Cheek to Cheek.

  11. KINGLUBO on 20TH MAY 2024 1:04 PM


    Unlike most on here I really think there is a player in Holm, really do.




    As for Bernardo, ditto and we must sign Adam Idah, rate him highly






    Not so sure I’m afraid.


    Not seen anything from Holm and clearly neither have the coaches – that’s not for nothing.


    Bernardo has some nice touches but is always on the fridges of a game and for Celtic midfielder that’s not enough in my view. At £6m it’s too much – I think we could get a better more experienced player for similar money.



  12. Fantastic weekend, champions again



    And the first for the ladies topped it off



    Winning so close to the end of the game , keep moving!!!



    Looking forward to this weekend

  13. CELTIC40ME on 20TH MAY 2024 5:08 PM



    I understand what you are saying.



    However, I think Brendan was promised certain things to take tje job.


    If that is the case then the board need to make good on their promises.



    All hypothetical of course, but certain choices, statements and body language would lead me to that conclusion.




  14. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    With you Aipple re Jürgen Klopp.



    Before his arrival Liverpool were pretty on the eye but not competitive.



    Brendan got them very close to the Premier League once (as did Rafa) but Klopp got them over the line.



    Proper rebuild over three years each year getting better.



    Virgil was the last key piece in the jigsaw.



    I get the comments of others – one of each trophy isn’t overwhelming .. but he also reached Champions League final another twice and ran an unprecedentedly good Man City close.



    For me – Guardiola and Ancelotti are the two best managers of the millennium.



    IMHO, there’s a handful of others in the tier just below these two – including Klopp.

  15. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    RIMTIMTIM on 20TH MAY 2024 3:39 PM



    DeRangement led to a derailing which had its seed in not handling at all well the hubris from the Dens Park pitch fiasco.






    Good call RTT.



    The threat of legal action against Dundee actually predated the 0-0.



    No Celtic fan I know likes to get ahead of themselves … and there is an element of being wise after the event ….



    … But when they spouted this stuff publicly … at a time when the league title was still in their hands ?



    Far too much effort expended getting excuses ready to placate the staunch.



    That’s when I knew we’d win the league.

  16. Tom McLaughlin on

    On Saturday, as Brendan took the mic and spoke to the crowd, a few isolated dissenting voices were raised in the Jock Stein lower. The only one I could make out was a few seats to my left where the guy shouted, “You’re fooling nobody ya shitebag.”

  17. Tom McLaughlin on

    Is there any truth in the rumour that the guy in the santa outfit was the fat gardener from East Kilbride?

  18. Any manager who canny make a player out of, Odin Holm, is a manager who is woefully out of his depth.



    Dugs on the street are hearing that Celtic will move for,  Abdallah Sima, in the summer! 👀️



    Woof! Woof




  19. BIG JIMMY Hope you get better soon ,personally my health can be like a yoyo up and down,hopefully a few winners will help 👍

  20. The Blogger Formerly Known As GM on

    Just in and catching up with today’s “news”.



    Amazing how the BBC can keep this “Celtic disorder” story going.



    “Carriages and Castles, a children’s clothes shop in the Trongate, had a windowsill broken from fans standing on it to get a better view of the crowd.


    The shop, which would normally be open, stayed closed on Saturday.


    The manager of the shop, Fiona, said: “Customers can’t get in, it’s a children’s shop. You don’t want to bring children in to that, they get scared.


    “The club should be held responsible for the damage that’s done. Could they not do that at their club grounds, because they wouldn’t damage that.”



    Closed all day? Did the game not kick off at 12.30?



    Trongate probably started to get busy ay 3/3.30, so she may have lost 2 hours of takings.



    Can’t help but think Fiona has had her Gerald Ratner moment for 15 minutes of fame.

  21. What a weekend!



    Our 27th wedding anniversary on Friday, and our daughter presented us with the birth of our latest grandchild. Another Bhoy, which makes up a team of 11 grandchildren now (and hopefully no more to come! 🤣)



    Sat saw our title presentation day. 🥳



    Sun saw the Ghirls win the league. 💪



    If Carlsberg did weekends…😁😁😁




  22. What about all the business owners that closed early to GET to the trongate



    Should celtic pay them too??



    Or howzabout



    The huns pay their taxes and we use a tiny portion of that for the cleanup

  23. Bada Bing (from Friday)



    “Call me Gerry- another sniper who reads a reply then disappears….”




    So, because I didn’t hang around the blog for an hour and catch your reply to my post, I’m a sniper?? Seriously?



    So, go visit my daughter in hospital and hold my new grandson….or hang around on an internet blog in the off chance that you MIGHT want to converse with me?



    Which should I do?



    You really should think before you post (which was the point I was trying to politely make on Friday).




  24. Anyone know how the new CL format will work? The format will have us and another eight teams. That’s two teams from three pots and three from a fourth pot. We could e.g. have three pot 1 teams or we could have another two from the same pot as us (and two from the other three pots) . I might be talking shite, of course

  25. we will be drawn agaist 2 teams each from the four pots.



    one will be a home fixture, the other away.



    8 fixtures in total sept to jan.



    we will be in europe after christmas, thanks santa.

  26. GREENPINATA on 20TH MAY 2024 6:01 PM



    I dont know what Brendan was promised but I do know Brendan is a very shrewd strategic operator when it comes to leveraging whatever power he has to get what he wants.



    Nothing the board wouldn’t expect or know how to deal with, and not something thats likely to affect their decision making. And not something in itself I have a problem with, as long as it doesnt create discord and disfunction in the club, or disrupt that players which is what I think happened this season.

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